The Mizoram government has restricted public movement in Phuldungsei, a village on the Tripura-Mizoram border, a week after objecting to the construction of a temple there, the Hindustan Times reported on Saturday. The government claimed that the construction of a temple and the community’s activities could cause law and order problems.
The state government imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure on October 16, until further orders, East Mojo reported. The section prohibits the assembly of four or more people in the village and the surrounding areas of Phuldungsei Zampi and Zomuantlang. The area is a point of dispute between Mizoram and Tripura.
Anyone found violating the prohibitory orders can be charged under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with disobedience of an order duly promulgated by a civil servant. The violators could face imprisonment of up to one month or a fine of Rs 200, or both. The imprisonment might be extended to six months if the violation poses threat to law or human life, safety and health, according to the section.
Following the imposition of Section 144, the Tripura government took strong objection, demanding that the restrictions be immediately withdrawn. “The prohibitory order issued by the Mamit district magistrate, Mizoram on 16 October is indicating areas of North Tripura district of Tripura state in his order which is highly objectionable,” Tripura Additional Secretary AK Bhattacharya wrote to Mizoram Home Department Deputy Secretary David H Lalthangliana. Tripura has contended that the village is an integral part of its territory.
Mamit District Magistrate Dr Lalrozama said that an organisation called Songrongma planned to construct a Shiv temple at Thaidaw Ylang in the district without permission from the state government. Lalrozama said the plan could disturb peace and tranquility in the area.
Mizoram Home Secretary Lalbiaksangi wrote to Tripura Home Secretary BK Sahu on October 10, asking him to stop construction of the temple as well as all kinds of activities within the disputed interstate border.
“Phuldungsei village is disputed by Mizoram but it remains under Tripura’s administrative control,” a Mizoram official said on condition of anonymity. “The Tripura government already discussed the matter with Mizoram.” The village has been “traditionally accepted” as part of Tripura, according to the Hindustan Times.
The village falls under the Kanchanpur sub-division. In August, the area’s sub-divisional magistrate Chandni Chandran told higher officials that 130 residents of the village with Tripura ration cards were found in Mizoram’s voters’ list.